Unit 6- Module 1 - Module 1- Unit 6 Characterizing...

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Module 1- Unit 6 Characterizing Interactions John Pollard University of Arizona When a drug is introduced into our body, it can interact with a variety of systems like our stomach, bloodstream, cells and other organs. The action and delivery method of a drug is dependent on the nature and effect that the drug has in these different environments. As an example, acetometaphin can be taken orally as it is effectively absorbed into the bloodstream via the stomach. It would be unfortunate it could not be absorbed through the stomach and would have to be injected to take effect (although the needle manufacturing community would be excited). Thus, it is of central importance to recognize the potential interactions that drugs can have so that we can control and target their effects. To understand this thinking further, let’s first understand the “playing field” for which all drugs must engage in when entering our bodies; water. Our bodies are approximately 60% water with some of our internal systems like our bloodstream being over 80% water. To understand the interaction between molecules like drugs and our bodies, we need to first understand the dynamic equilibrium of pure water. As we have discussed in previous units, water molecules are polar and this charge distribution is at the heart of waters chemical reactivity. One of the particularly important reactions that water undergoes is with itself. In pure water, a very small percentage of water molecules react with each other in a process called auto-ionization. In this reaction two water molecules exchange an H+ (proton) to form H 3 O + and OH¯ ions. This reaction is not thermodynamically favored which means that the equilibrium constant for the process is much less than 1. In fact, at equilibrium (25°C) the H 3 O + and OH¯ concentrations are both 1.0 x 10 -7 M. Given that the water concentration changes so little (and is approximately 55 M to start), it is
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Unit 6- Module 1 - Module 1- Unit 6 Characterizing...

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